The Media Circus

Vince Cable, business secretary

Well what a story from left field. I really wasn’t expecting that! No not the Vince Cable one. The other one about Kara Tointon and Artem.

First I must make a confession. I have watched Strictly Dancing (well some of them and I wanted to keep Angie company). It was interesting on the news how much was made of the blossoming of the relationship between the eventual winner, Kara Tointon, and her professional dancer Artem. The papers were running stories of it through the series and there were a few comments on the programme. Yet the day after she wins. What happens? The papers (well certainly the Sun and the Mail) run stories attacking the background of Artem (a Russian dancer).

Funny that. The papers make someone and then try to destroy them.

In fact that didn’t surprise me at all. But I bet there is another side to the story.

Kara Tointon & Artem

Vince Cable caught on tape by two “constituents” spilling the beans. It wasn’t what he said that has surprised me so much. Indeed it would have been extraordinary if he didn’t hold the views that he expressed.

The Telegraph seems to have been racing all over the past year or so attacking people left, right and centre. The release of MP’s expenses seems to have wetted their appetite; so maybe its unsurprising that the Telegraph sent two journalists in to masquerade as constituents.

But what type of society do we want? One where we are allowed to sting our politicians? Where their ability to help and consult with their constituents is badly impaired?

The one really important part of the interview (regarding the Murdoch proposed takeover of Sky) was the area that the Telegraph didn’t publish. As Michael White, of the Guardian says:

The Telegraph seems to have suppressed the Murdoch angle for its own commercial reasons. If not, why not run the best story on day one? Ironically, it agreed with the commie pinko Cable about the BskyB bid on this one – though not for Cable’s wholesome pluralistic reasons. So much for trust and the public good.

It’s all a bit rich when the Barclay brothers are renowned for being well a bit, you know, a bit, a very bit.. you know…. secretive.

They have their residence on the island of Brecqhou just off the Island of Sark in the Channel Islands.

Sark has no income tax.

The brothers are billionaires.

They were the ones that unleashed the Telegraph last year to clean up politics by releasing over many weeks MP’s expenses.

Petit Beauregard

They are not always appreciated by some of the Sark Islanders but the brothers own many of the businesses on Sark (employing a 1/6 of the population).  But when the Islanders voted for those who wanted to maintain the traditions of the island they closed down all the businesses in a seeming fit of pique (they did re-open them again but you get the idea).

When Private Eye did a parody of them earlier this year – the Barclay Brothers sued. They sued the journalist John Sweeney who alleged that they had been involved in corruption.

But maybe we have supped too long at the table of democracy. Maybe we are returning to the era of the coliseum and games. Maybe we can’t allow adults to be part of politics. Where we are fed the tittle-tattle of the games and ignore the real issues that face how we can ensure grown up and reasoned debate and don’t give in to these media moguls.

But wait. Didn’t I just read that Vince Cable is going to be on Strictly Dancing Christmas Special? Oh that makes everything alight then. Got to run and watch…..

Update 23/12:

Bishop Nick also queries what the media got up to on his blog.



  1. Media ownership, politics and why less might change than it ought | Will Cookson's Blog - July 9, 2011

    […] The Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph are owned by the Barclay brothers. These are a secretive pair who live on the small island of breqhou off of Sark in the Channel Islands. Not only does this enable them to avoid tax but they have attempted to bully and manipulate the people of Sark. […]

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